IN THIS CHAPTER
Introducing the Plugin Manager
Reviewing the default plugins
Plugins are small, specialized pieces of code that typically run only when triggered by an event. Plugins are used as "helper" applications, providing bits of additional functionality or extending existing Joomla! functions.
The default Joomla! system includes 32 plugins. They provide a number of significant and useful functions, including login authentication, site search, search engine friendly URLs, and the WYSIWYG content editor. Although not all of the 32 plugins are enabled in the default configuration, the majority are in use by the system. Several of them are essential to the proper functioning of your Joomla! site and should only be disabled if you understand fully the implications and have planned accordingly.
Plugins first appeared in Joomla! with the release of Version 1.5. Prior to version 1.5, the system used helper extensions called mambots. Although mambots and plugins are similar in function, they are not identical and cannot be interchanged.
The Joomla! plugins are controlled through the Plugin Manager. The manager contains all the system plugins, together with any third-party plugins you may have installed. To view the plugins in your site, log in to the Admin system and go to the Extensions menu. Select the option Plugin Manager, and the Plugin Manager loads in your browser window, as shown in Figure 19.1.
Figure 19.1. The Plugin ...